Usability Beta Status

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Here’s a brief update on the status of our recently launched usability improvements.
Since the launch of the beta invitation to the first set of usability improvements on August 6th, about 173,000 people tried out the beta and about 134,000 people continue to use the beta as of September 12th.
Beta retention rate is interpreted roughly 77%. These numbers are aggregation of all Wikimedia projects in all available languages. If we look at the retention rate by project or by language, the number varies significantly. For example, the beta retention rate of English Wikipedia is 82% and Spanish Wikipedia is 80%, while the beta struggles to retain beta trial users of the language communities such as Japanese and Korean at the retention rate of 59% and 54% respectively.
We are reviewing the survey feedback and trying to isolate specific issues of languages whose retention rate is below average. If you are curious about how the beta opt-in and opt-out look like at daily or weekly basis, you can visit the preference statistics page. Here is the example link to English Wikipedia. Just change the language prefix or project name to get to the project of your preference.
Naoko Komura, Program Manager, Wikipedia Usability Initiative

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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You would have me in the beta testing, if the new background wouldn’t be so strenous on my eyes.

Hello bluebirch. Which element of the new background is strenuous to your eyes? Is it the background color, the font color, the border color or all? The color change for the beta was minimal, and we did not intend to introduce burden on eyes… We would like to know more about the problem you are experiencing. Feel free to write me directly at nkomura at wikmedia dot org.

Hi Naoko! I really like the work that’s been done, however, I am still switching back to monobook for one reason: I have difficulty find anything on the left side bar. There should be some better differentiation between the different sections. For example, there could just be a borderless white box for each of the sections. If this is fixed, the reading interface would be gold! Thanks!

Why is the main page still full of tables instead of semantic markup? Surely this is bad for usability…

The problem is not the colors themself. The problem is the gradient. I’m surprised that I’m the only person to say this as for me it is really unbarable. Does anybody know what this could be related to (monitor settings, etc.)? I haven’t noticed this outside of the Wikipedia beta, though.

@qmunke: That’s the English Wikipedia community’s doing, we can’t really fix that. The Usability Initiative only concerns itself with things that can be fixed/improved/added in the software.

bluebirch, you are not the only beta user that has mentioned that and we are looking to isolate the problem and at possible solutions and alternatives. with all of the various machines, monitors, and color calibrations, it’s hard for us to see all of the variations – and it would be very helpful for us to see what you see. please email me at pvora [at] wikimedia [dot] org if you’d be willing to help us with some more information.

I am a new user here
I am very glad to see these efforts , in wikimedia .
But in fact , it needs some changes.
for example ,Why is the main page still full of tables instead of semantic markup?
Also the possibility of using colors.
Any way , Its good and helpful site , for all people .
Thanks for your efforts,and forward.

I want to make a suggestion : It would be very useful when anyone writes an article, too give , for any citation in a foreign language or for any word written in a foreign language most especialy when this word is proposed in a different alphabet, too give a translation and an indication in internatinnal phonétic alphabet that would permit too pronounce it corectly in the original language.
Tank you